| 6.2°C Dublin

I wasn't surprised by tragic homeless death, says doctor

Close

Jonathan Corrie

Jonathan Corrie

Jonathan Corrie

A DOCTOR who treated homeless man Jonathan Corrie in the past said he was not surprised that he had died.

Mr Corrie was found dead in a doorway a few metres away from the Dail. His death caused a national outcry for more effective action to help the homeless.

Dr Conor Powell said the homeless man had been suffering from chronic health issues prior to his death.

"I wasn't too surprised just in the sense that I had met him a couple of times myself and he did have a number of chronic health issues," said the doctor.

The funeral of Mr Corrie took place at Newlands Cross Cemetery and Crematorium in Dublin on Saturday.

The event was a private family occasion presided over by Reverend Katherine Poulton, the Dean of Kilkenny.

A number of friends from his native Co Kilkenny attended the service.

On the Marian Finucane Show on RTE One yesterday, Dr Powell said he had treated Mr Corrie and other homeless people in a specially equipped bus which is used as a mobile health unit on the streets of Dublin to assist homeless people with their health and other needs.

Addicts

Members of the Simon Community work on the bus giving out sleeping bags and bag packs, as well as helping to arrange accommodation for homeless people.

The outreach service also provides needles to drug addicts to prevent the risk of disease associated with sharing.

As a doctor on duty on the bus, Dr Powell's duties involved providing GP care in the form of providing anti biotic treatments for those with chest infections, care for people with ulcers or wounds which need dressings, or referring them onto other services, including hospital accident and emergency departments.

Dr Powell did not go into the details of Mr Corrie's health problems but they were similar to a lot of other homeless people's conditions.

Frustrated

"They have multiple problems. They have difficulty accessing normal health care services and so really they often neglect their own health for quite a prolonged period of time until things have reached a crisis point," he said.

"Then, at that point, they still have hurdles to jump in terms of accessing the health care," he said.

As many are addicts, long waits at A&E departments can mean they start getting withdrawal symptoms, get frustrated, and leave the hospitals, he said.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


Privacy